During these uncertain times, many CEOs are wondering how to take their retail business online. Here are our 7 top tips!
Many brick-and-mortar stores have been moving toward taking their retail business online anyway as online shopping becomes more popular. But it’s more important now than ever that you know how to take your retain business online.
And while this article is by no means a comprehensive guide, we do have several helpful tips to make the transition as painless as possible!
1. Get clear on the tax laws in your area and how they affect taking a retail business online.
This is a step you do not want to skip. Tax laws sometimes vary according to your state or local area, so make sure that you’re setting up your online store legally.
In that same vein, if you ship products internationally, you’ll need to understand which taxes affect your shipments and make sure those fees are clearly displayed on your online store.
You can set up a free call with us to find out more about your online store’s financial and tax needs.
2. Choose an e-commerce platform to take your retail business online.
The next step is finding an e-commerce platform for your online store. If you have a WordPress site, WooCommerce is an excellent plugin that allows you to sell directly on your site.
There are plenty of other site options, though, that are specifically built around creating an online store. Here are a few of the best we’ve found:
3. Choose your online payment methods.
Some e-commerce platforms automatically require buyers to have PayPal to make purchases on your online store. But certainly not all are this way.
Other popular online payment methods include:
Keep in mind that most—if not all—credit card payment methods online take a small percentage of your overall sale. It’s usually around 2.9%.
4. Create an FAQ page for your shipping and exchange/return policies.
It’s better to create this page at the start because many people will want to know what to expect before purchasing a product of yours. This page doesn’t have to be intense, but it should reflect the common questions your clients might ask about shipping or your return policy.
Customers hate spending a lot of money on shipping—even if the item is on sale or relatively cheap. Consider offering free shipping or a flat fee. If you need, you can roll the price of shipping into your product.
5. Upload your products and categorize them.
If you have lots of products, this step might take a little while. But it pays off to be organized when it comes to presenting your products online.
Organize your website with your customers in mind. Realize that they don’t know all the different types of products you offer. Make it easy for them to find what you need and navigate your site. This is where categories are crucial. Clear and commonsense categories will make it much easier for customers to find what they need on your site.
6. Test all your transactions types before you officially take your retail business online.
Testing is crucial before you officially publish and launch your online store. Make sure you test a purchase, a refund, a canceled payment, and archiving successful orders.
The worst thing you can do is not test these things and then spend hours trying to help frustrated buyers who are having issues with these transactions.
7. Promote your online store!
Congratulations—you’ve officially taken your retail business online! Now all that’s left to do is promote your store and expand your reach of happy customers.
Some great ways to promote your online store is to set up a blog on your site that talks about topics your ideal customers care about. Give them ideas for how to use your products and then link to the products in your online store. Promote your blogs and product pages on Google and social media to expand your reach.
Have more questions about taking your retail business online? Set up a free consultation with us, and we’ll be happy to discuss your business’ needs!